Many cat owners are stymied by a cat that likes to chew and wonder what can I give my cat to chew on? Since this is more of a dog characteristic, it’s rather unusual that a cat would develop an oral fixation and want to chew on whatever they can get their paws on.
Figuring out what to give them is important, since you don’t want to give them something they could swallow, or that is otherwise toxic to them. You also don’t want to waste time giving them things they won’t chew on, only to find them chewing on your valuable possessions. Some owners use raw chicken bones, others use specially made cat toys, and others borrow from the dog section at the local pet store and give them dog chews.
Whichever method you go with you have to be consistent enough so that your cat gets the idea that you’re not going to tolerate them chewing on the wrong things, and that they can chew on the right things as long as they want. Some defiant cats will know what you’re up to and still give you trouble, but with enough perseverance this isn’t a hard habit to break, or to get them to follow your desires.
What Can I Give My Cat to Chew On And Things to Avoid
It’s really a dual question, both determining what your cat can chew on, and what is not good for them to chew on. A lot of cat owners bring up the idea of using dog chews like rawhide and special chewing bones and sticks that are made for dogs. Many cats will go for these, but there are also many cats that will turn their nose up. You can try to make this more enticing to your cat by rubbing their favorite treat on the item, or continually putting it in their vicinity until they figure it out.
It’s not just the fact that your cat is chewing on things that you don’t want chewed on, but it can also prove to be a problem for the health of their teeth and gums, and it can present more problems if they swallow things they shouldn’t. That’s why even though at first glance it seems that this is not that big of a deal, you still want to address it right away so that you nip it in the bud and it doesn’t escalate any further.
Try Using Catnip
Anything that you’ve deemed chewable can be sprinkled or rubbed with catnip to try to get them to chew that instead of other things. That will increase the chances that they’ll go for the “chew approved” item over something you care about, and can help develop the habit even after the catnip has rubbed off. Catnip is safe for cats and gives them some sort of special feeling that they seem to enjoy. This will often give them enough push to go ahead and adopt your new chew toy or other item as their chewing choice.
Cat-Proof Your Home
If you’ve got a known chewer on your hands you should take the precaution of getting your home secured so they don’t cause any damage to important things. This includes using twist ties on loose and dangling wires, making sure that all valuables are not within easy reach, and securing anything else that they might find palatable. You’ll still end up coming home to find something you didn’t want chewed on chewed on, but at least you can try to minimize the damage, and make sure that really important things go unharmed.
The combination of these two strategies should insure that your cat and your home will be protected from unwanted chewing. If you’re still stuck on the question of what can I give my cat to chew on, you can ask your vet to see if they have any recommendations that are tailored to your specific cat. They may also want you to bring them in for a check up to see if there is an underlying problem that is causing them to want to chew on things so much.